Caravan Hound (Mudhol Hound)
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The Caravan Hound is a quick, intelligent and graceful multifunctional breed with its homeland in India. The pleasant disposition of this breed combined with unpretentiousness in grooming make it a wonderful companion dog. Recently this breed has been in imminent danger of complete disappearance although presently it’s experiencing the positive reversal of fate.
For centuries the Caravan Hound served in many ways both to noble and ordinary people of its native India. It’s thought that the dog’s forebears were brought to this country by first merchants, mercenaries, and invaders, which entered its territory via the mountainous Khybur Pass as early as 500 B.C. The Caravan Hound appeared as the result of crossing these imported dogs with India’s indigenous hounds. It’s highly probable that the Sloughi, the Saluki, the Azawakh, the Greyhound, and the Afghan Hound greatly contributed into the development of the breed.
Initially the Caravan Hound carried the name of its hometown of Mudhol, situated in the Bagalkot District of Karnataka. Nonetheless in many local Indian villages the Mudhol hound is called the Karwani or Caravan Hound. Villagers granted the dog with this name since they often observed its specimens accompanying the caravans of their owners as they moved from place to place. Some dog’s lovers insist that the name of «Caravan Hound» suits much better than «Mudhol Hound» as the breed actually originated on the territory of the western Deccan Plateau and not only in Mudhol.
The Caravan Hound was developed to resist adversary weather conditions, traverse challenging terrain while performing very demanding tasks. This agile and hardy dog is an expert in hunting hares, jackals, blackbucks, and chinkaras in the most hostile environment. It was treasured by both Indian royals and peasants for its strong hunting instinct as well as for its protectiveness, which makes it an outstanding property and personal guardian. Ardent loyalty to its master allowed the breed to serve as a war dog and it excelled in this role.
Today the existence of the Caravan hound is threatened because of irresponsible breeders, which focus exclusively on profits and produce dogs with poor health or flawed temperament. Such organisation as the Karnataka Veterinary, Animal and Fishery Sciences University of Bidar (KVAFSU), invests a lot of money and efforts to improve this situation and it has already achieved considerable progress. The breed is currently recognised only by Indian kennel clubs although breeders in other countries express active interest in this beautiful and versatile hound.
Thanks to the centuries of selective breeding the Caravan Hound evolved into an all-purpose working dog with biddable, devoted but somewhat reserved personality. If you want to turn one of its specimens into a sweet-tempered family dog be prepared to invest sizeable amount of time and efforts into its socialisation and obedience training. Despite its independent character it enjoys being the part of the family and develops strong bonds with all its members. This breed is alright with older children who treat it with respect which it deserves.
The Caravan Hound is amicable and gentle with familiar people but remains distant and aloof with strangers. Even a well brought-up dog will feel strained and displeased if someone who it doesn’t know tries to pet it. Thanks to its outmost bravery and willingness to defend its masters and his possessions this breed can be turned into a highly reliable guard dog. Also it always keeps a lookout and will effectively perform the duties of a watchdog.
As a pack hunter the Caravan Hound is usually friendly with other canines. It will be a good idea to acquire it a permanent canine companion with similarly buoyant temperament. In essence this breed has few problems with other dogs if it has had an opportunity to interact with them since a young age. It tends to be extremely aggressive towards non-canine animals and some of its specimens will diligently chase even familiar cats and other small pets.
The most common problems for the breed include:
• cold sensitivity;
The Caravan Hound needs very little grooming. Its short and sleek coat should be brushed only occasionally, preferably once a week. This breed is prone to shed small amount of hair all the year around. Regular brushing will effectively remove dead hair from its fur and make its shedding almost unnoticeable. The Caravan Hound should be bathed as rarely as possible since aggressive shampoos can strip off the natural oils, which protect the dog’s skin and coat from drying out.
The Caravan Hound’s training is associated with certain difficulties. It was developed as an independent worker and tends to rely on its own views and decisions rather than follow anyone else bidding. That’s why it’s absolutely necessary to earn the status of the pack leader in the dog’s perception.
The best training strategy with this wilful and stubborn dog is to always treat it with kindness, patience, respect and indulgence. Start training and socialising your Caravan Hound from the very first day in your house and you efforts will pay off. Be mindful that rough-housing and physical punishments should be avoided as much as possible since they will only induce retaliatory aggression from the dog.
The Caravan Hound has very extensive exercise requirements. Even long and brisk walk will be insufficient to satisfy the need of this dog for physical activity. On the whole it fits only to rural environment where it will have large but securely enclosed yard at its disposal.
Because of its high prey drive the Caravan Hound should be never released off leash in an open space. Without huge amount of daily exercise this dog will demonstrate grave behavioural issues including excessive barking, unpredictable aggressiveness, hyper activity and others.